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Anna Kirstine Br√łndum was born in Skagen, Denmark the daughter of Erik Andersen Br√łndum (1820-1890) and Ane Hedvig M√łller (1826-1916). Anna Ancher was the only one of the Skagen Painters who was actually born and grew up in this northernmost area of Jutland. Her father owned the Br√łndums Hotel in Skagen. The artistic talent of Anna Ancher became obvious at an early age and she grew acquainted with pictorial art via the many artists who settled to paint in Skagen.
While she studied drawing for 3 years at the Vilhelm Kyhn College of Painting College of Painting in Copenhagen, she developed her own style and was a pioneer in observing the interplay of different colours in natural light. She also studied drawing in Paris at the atelier of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes along with Marie Triepcke, who would marry Peder Severin Kr√łyer, another Skagen painter. In 1880 she married fellow painter Michael Ancher, whom she met in Skagen. They had one daughter, Helga Ancher. Despite pressure from society that married women should devote themselves to household duties, she continued painting after marriage.
Anna Ancher is considered to be one of the great Danish pictorial artists by virtue of her abilities as a character painter and colourist. Her art found its expression in Nordic art's modern breakthrough towards a more truthful depiction of reality, e.g. in Blue Ane (1882) and The Girl in the Kitchen (1883-1886).
Ancher preferred to paint interiors and simple themes from the everyday lives of the Skagen people and fishermen, women and children, and she was intensely preoccupied with exploring light and colour, e.g. Interior with Clematis (1913). She also created more complex compositions such as A Funeral (1891). Anna Ancher's works have often represented Danish art abroad. She was awarded the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat in 1924.
The Skagen residence of Anne and Michael Ancher was purchased in 1884. In 1913, a large studio annex was added to the property and this also forms part of what is on display today. Upon her death in 1964, the Ancher's daughter, Helga, left the house and all of its contents to a foundation. The former residence was restored and opened as a museum and visitor attraction.
In 1967 Michael and Anna Ancher's house was turned into a museum by the Helga Ancher Foundation. Michael and Anna Ancher's house (Anchers Hus) in Skagen has been converted to a museum and is open to the public for tours. Original furniture and paintings created by the Anchers and other Skagen artists are shown in the restored home and studio. Art exhibitions are arranged in the Saxild House (Saxilds Gaard), another building on the property. This house is filled with displays of paintings by Michael and Anna Ancher as well as those from many other Skagen painters who made up their circle of friends.
Anna and Michael Ancher are currently featured on the front side of the DKK1000 bill. The current version of this bill came into circulation on 25 November 2004. The front of the banknote has a double portrait of Anna and Michael Ancher. The portraits featured on the banknote were inspired by two paintings Peder Severin Kr√łyer made in 1884 which originally hung on the walls in the dining room at Br√łndums Hotel.
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